Inside Unmanned Systems

FEB-MAR 2017

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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49 unmanned systems inside February/March 2017 ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. The accident spurred Sheerin, who is president of the prototype- building firm, to create a retrieval ROV with a two-width gripper that could grab a child's wrist or an adult's arm. Sheerin sees it as more of a tool for rescue than recovery. "It would be meant for someone who's lost consciousness," Sheerin said. "As you know, in cold water…especially for a child, you might have upwards of 25 minutes (to rescue them)." "So instead of waiting for a dive team to come you would have this unit that you could throw in, and start an immediate search," Sheerin told Inside Unmanned Systems. "It's designed to clamp on, he added, "then you use the umbilical to pull them back to the surface." The tether on the Starfish is unusual in that it has a rope backbone that can be separated from the electrical line. The rope is strong enough to haul up items weighing as much as 500 pounds, while the claw is cur- rently designed to hold about 300 pounds. That claw, Sheerin said, has proven dexterous enough to pick up a hockey puck and a stuffed toy, and comes with a built-in magnet for retrieving things like keys. The camera and lights on the device make searching easier. The claw, which is at the center axis of the rotors, also can be removed and replaced with other sensors. "The attachment comes off and you can put on there, for example, a magnetometer or something to search for sunken treasure," Sheerin said. You could also attach a high-end camera capable of capturing im- ages for 3-D or virtual reality products. Another winner on Kickstarter, SheerTech raised $48,135 from 11 backers to finish development. The first units are weeks from shipping, Sheerin said. Among those most interested in the Starfish are small hydrodam operators. "They spend a lot of money inspecting their dams, trying to retrieve things that have fallen," said Sheerin. The company also has received interest from marinas whose custom- ers are apparently prone to losing tanks and other equipment. Sheerin said one guy told him: "Geoff, I'd like to just be able to drive out 200 feet and go down 10." FATHOM ONE OFFERED BY: Fathom COST: Preorder $599 RUN TIME: Up to 1 hour per charge DEPTH: Up to 150 feet SIZE: Weight 4.5 lbs. SPEED: 1.5 m/sec (3 knots) TETHER: 100 feet standard, 300 feet available SENSOR: HD 1080p camera CONTROLLER: Mobile app connected via a Wi-Fi-capable surface unit MORE: The modular design can be broken down and carried in a backpack. It has a built-in rail and ports to support other add- ons like a GoPro camera or extra lights. The fi rm is planning to offer a variety of thrusters and accessories but is also looking to third party developers for innovations. STARFISH OFFERED BY: SheerTech COST: Preorder $2,995 RUN TIME: As long as the 12V energy source on the surface lasts DEPTH: Up to 300 feet SIZE: 18" diameter, 27" in length; 8.5 lbs., SPEED: 2 m/sec (4 knots) TETHER: 100m standard, 300m available CONTROLLER: Proprietary controller similar to those used for aerial drones SENSORS: HD camera and a claw with a built-in magnet to aid retrieval MORE: The Starfi sh can retrieve up to 300 pounds with its claw and 500 pounds with the rope backbone of its tether. The claw can be removed and replaced with other sensors. A larger 14-foot version is now under development. G E A R thrusters and accessories but is also looking to third party developers for innovations. As long as the 12V energy source on the surface lasts 18" diameter, 27" in length; 8.5 lbs., The Starfi sh's gripper claw can be replaced with other sensors

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